Increased prevalence of left-sided skin cancers

Susan T. Butler, Scott W. Fosko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background: Previous research has shown an increase in photodamage and precancers on the left side of the face. Objective: We sought to determine whether there is a higher frequency of skin cancer development on the left side of the body than the right. Methods: The study was a retrospective review of patients with skin cancer referred to our Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology unit in 2004. Results: When including all types of skin cancers and both sexes, more cancers occurred on the left (52.6%) than the right (47.4%) (P = .059), with a stronger trend in men (P = .042). There were significantly more malignant melanoma in situ on the left (31/42, 74%) than the right (11/42, 26%) (P = .002). Limitations: Population was comprised of patients referred to an academic medical center and often for Mohs micrographic surgery. Conclusions: There were significantly more skin cancers on the left than the right side in men. This discrepancy was even more profound in malignant melanoma in situ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1010
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Left sided
  • Photodamage
  • Skin cancer
  • Ultraviolet A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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